From Leia’s gold bikini to Stormtrooper gear, Star Wars has had some fairly iconic costumes. None more so than Darth Vader’s. How much would it cost to truly take on the Sith Lord’s mantle? Centives decided to find out.
Let’s start with the base suit. The cockpits of imperial space fighters don’t seem to be pressurized– a standard pilot has oxygen tubes and a space suit, something that Darth Vader doesn’t bother with when he is out flying about.
This indicates that the suit is airtight and can survive space exposure. NASA space suits are similar and cost $12 million a pop.
In Revenge of the Sith, Obi Wan Kenobi fights Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar, a volcanic planet, and manages to defeat him by removing Anakin’s legs and left arm.
By the time of “Return of the Jedi” Darth Vader is able to perform flips so he clearly got some high end prosthetics. A top of the line prosthetic arm costs $40,000. Each leg would run you $70,000, for a total of $180,000.
But that’s just the initial cost of the equipment. There are other medical and maintenance costs involved. According to one study the expected lifetime cost of a single prosthetic limb can be as high as $1.8 million. Triple it to $5.4 million for three.
Onto the helmet. It seems to have augmented reality functionality.
The F-35’s helmet mounted display costs $600,000, and would provide Vader with targeting, navigational, and night vision capability.
Vader’s breathing is both audible and mechanical. Given the damage that the fire and ash will have done to Anakin’s respiratory system on Mustafar, it seems likely that Darth Vader needs his suit to be able to breathe for extended periods of time. There’s probably a heart and lung machine built into the suit and these cost $45,000.
The helmet also seems to modify Vader’s voice. Speech synthesizers are fairly cheap and even high end ones can be had for $1,000.
All in all, the suit comes out to costing $18.3 million dollars. It’s a hefty sum but Lord Vader could probably…negotiate.
Centives is a website about quirky economics that specializes in providing consulting services for potential dark lords. Previously we’ve helped budding evildoers understand how much it would cost to build and mop their very own Death Star, and we’ve also helped them come up with business plans for successfully taking over the world. On a budget? We have more affordable super villain lair options too!
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